Wild rugged coast lines, amazing seafood, empty roads, quiet beaches, what is not to love about SUPing in Finistère? SUPGlobal took a trip to Brittany (Bretagne) to find out more.
Finistère is a region of Brittany located in north west of France. It sticks nicely out into the Atlantic and picks up a lot of swell. The coast of the region is varied with cliffs, coves and reefs in the north, giving way to sandy beaches and bays further south. This variety means there really is something for everyone when it comes to SUP.
One of the really popular SUP surfing spots is La Torch (see map above). It was the beach we based ourselves around during the trip. Over the course of two weeks we had everything from pumping 6-8ft swell to smaller 1-2ft and a fair bit of everything in between. Best time to get in the water is early morning before the surf schools start and the line up gets busy. La Torch actually has two waves, one to the right is the famous one, but Porzcarn beach, to the left of the point, is also well worth checking out with some punchy sandbar waves. As the wind changed direction we moved round Porzcarn to keep everything off shore and eventually found a lovely left hand reef which was empty and great fun. Back to La Torch, this is a famous left hand break close to the point, that turns into a thousands of peaks as you walk up the beach. The left hand break can get busy, despite the wave size, as there is a really strong rip close to the rocks, making it super easy to get out back with dry hair, however don’t be surprised to see surf school beginners on foamies outback with you, even if the surf is pumping. Makes life interesting!
One of the first things you notice when you arrive in Brittany is how clean and quiet the area is. The roads are really empty and a joy to drive on, and you just do not see many people, which was decidedly eerie at first. Another difference was the lack of car park charges. All the surf spot car parks where we pulled up to were free – coming from North Devon, UK we found this amazing. One thing to watch out for is a lot of the car parks have barriers to stop large camper vans from getting in – if you have boards of the roof or a van take a good look before driving through them.
There are some stunning bays for flatware exploration and loads of sea life. A recommendation is to head to Guilvinec, a fishing port south of La Torch. There is a long sandy beach north of the town (in-between Guilvinec and Penmarch) which is shallow, sheltered and fantastic to explore, with an off shore reef out to sea for the adventurous to visit – but make sure to watch the tides and the fishing boats that race past to Haliotika at around 4pm everyday to sell their catch.
You are spoilt for choice in terms of places to eat, the sea food is a must, but a top tip is book in advance as restaurants get busy in the summer. Getting there is really easy, quickest route from the UK is a ferry to Roscoff, then a 1 1/2 hour drive to La Torch. In terms of accommodation there are camp sites, AirBnB, apartments and villas to rent, you really are spoilt for choice.
Definitely a top 10 SUP destination!